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Central Indiana business owners make changes in anticipation of Small Business Saturday during pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Owners of small business across central Indiana hope you’ll “shop small” with them on Saturday.

Things will be a little bit different for Small Business Saturday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Administration says small businesses need support now more than ever, as they navigate and pivot the effects of pandemic.

Chef Tia & Co. is a small restaurant with big flavors on the city’s west side. Tia Harrison owns the place, and said having people in the seats simply eating a meal this weekend would mean a lot.

“My livelihood. What I do. What I love. It pretty much means everything, it’s what keeps me open. It’s what keeps me able to pay my employees,” said Harrison.

Harrison and her employees are getting ready for Small Business Saturday.

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Her restaurant has done well during the pandemic, and she wants to keep that momentum going. She said about 90% of her business comes from online sales.

Harrison said Small Business Saturday, which was created in 2010 to encourage people to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses, is important for the area.

“I’m seeing so many small restaurants and things like that close. So, it’s definitely vital right now that we get out, and we support small businesses,” said Harrison.

On Massachusetts Avenue, Heather Givans owns the fabric store Crimson Tate: Modern Quilter.

She said Small Business Saturday is historically like her Super Bowl.

But this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re shifting to all online sales.

“I’ve made the decision that we need to keep everyone safe, more than we need to allow tons of people in. So, we’re trying to create something new.” Givans explained.

Which is why she has online events planned for every hour on their social media pages, so people can virtually join in.

“We’ve tried to make the online shopping experience a little bit of fun, like coming into the store, but then also accessible. Now, it’s accessible to everyone because we definitely have a clientele of people who are in a more vulnerable age group, for health-wise,” said Givans.

Both business owners told News 8 they are very excited to see Hoosiers shop small this Saturday.

To find participating small businesses that are close to you, click here.

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